This Comment will explore the status of the employment at will doctrine and unjust dismissal actions following the supreme court's decision in Baldwin. First, Section I will explain the historical background of the employment at will doctrine and its steady erosion in the modern era. Next, Section II will provide an overview of the Baldwin case itself, including facts, procedural history, and general holdings. Sections III through V will explore the three major issues decided by the court in Baldwin: allocating burdens of proof in wrongful discharge suits; implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing in employment at will contracts; and the standard for determining when an employer has "just cause" for firing an employee. Finally, in Section VI, the author will suggest legislative action to correct the inadequacies of the post-Baldwin employment at will doctrine.
Michael T. Zoretic, Baldwin v. Sisters of Providence: Washington Gives At Will Employees a Gun With No Ammunition to Fight Against Unjust Dismissal, 14 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 709 (1991).